New calf born to endangered orca population in British Columbia waters

New Calf, L123 is shown in this recent handout photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Center for Whale Research, Mark Malleson

VANCOUVER - Researchers say a new calf has been born into an endangered orca population off British Columbia's coast.

The Center for Whale Research says the baby named L123 is the seventh calf born into the Southern Resident population in the past year.

Scientists with the Washington state-based centre say the calf was first spotted in November but it took several weeks to confirm due to poor visibility and unfavourable sea conditions.

The calf has been captured in photos taken from Alki Point in West Seattle and near Jordan River on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The centre says while a new calf born to the struggling population is cause to celebrate, it's important to remember that another whale means another mouth to feed.

It says there's a continued need to focus on wild Chinook salmon restoration, especially the removal of obsolete dams that block salmon from their natural spawning habitat.

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